Gothic Granola

Tag Archives: American

Two Tarts: Mini Apple and Honeybush

Two tarts, one easier to make than the other. I made mini apple pie tarts week before last on request.  The crust was the double crust recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky and the filling was a stovetop version of my roasted apple pie filling.

two tarts: mini apple pie and honeybush tart | vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

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Tomatoes for Dessert


And if you’re not a believer, is it really my job to make you one?


Tomato Stone Fruit Crisp
Inspired by Farm to Jar
Modified from Oh She Glows

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, diced
4 large peaches, half dozen plums, or 3 cups of cherries, diced (or in the case of the cherries, pop out the pits)
2 tablespoons tapioca or rice starch
2 tablespoons-1/2 cup sweetener (coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, organic sugar)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup GF quick oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
dash sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (maple, agave, honey)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a deep 8-inch square baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the fruit, tapioca, sweetener, and cinnamon until well-combined. Transfer fruit mixture to baking dish. In the same bowl, whisk together the dry topping ingredients. Then with a pastry blender, mush in the coconut oil and drizzle in the agave. Keep mixing until small clumps form. Crumble the topping over the fruit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, check on it, and tent the dish with foil if the topping starts to brown before the fruit is bubbly.  Bake for another 10 minutes (30 minutes total) or until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is browned.  Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This would be excellent brunch dessert. The juicy fruit and (duh) sweet sweetener mitigates some of the acidity of the tomatoes while sticking to its plant-food-heavy roots. I had endless fun with the double entendres in this recipe.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Shut Up and Listen: Raw Apple Pie

I am very American in the fact that I like my car. Today my car was the instrument through which I received another wakeup call.
 Black Cat Society | This recipe picture is lost | Vegan Gluten-free | Gothic Granola

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Pancakes, as American as Walt Whitman

Pancakes!  I have a well-formed recipe.  Been reading Whitman, hence the “well-(past participle)”.

modified from Hey That Tastes Good

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus four tablespoons water
2 bananas, mashed, or a pile of pureed pumpkin or applesauce (about 1 cup of fruit moosh)
1 cup non-dairy milk
3/4-1 cup water (use the larger amount if using buckwheat flour)
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup, agave, or sugar

2 teaspoons spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, you get the idea)
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup white rice flour (or 1 cup buckwheat flour)
1 cup brown rice flour (or 2 cups brown or white, the mix is not important)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum

1 cup sliced almonds (or chocolate chips or whatever else you sprinkle on your pancakes)

Preheat frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat.  Spray with oil.
Combine flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a large measuring cup, mix the wet ingredients.  Add the flax to the wet and whisk well.  Add dry to wet and mix well.  Test the pan with water; if the water bounces and sizzles, you’re good to go.  Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into the pan and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.  Put as many pancakes in the pan as you can safely mind.  When they bubble and the edges firm up, between 3-5 minutes, flip carefully.  These brown quickly, developing a shiny underside as they cook.  Remove from pan when bottoms have browned and they’ve stopped steaming.  Makes twelve-ish 4” or sixish 7” pancakes.  Serve with maple syrup (the real stuff, please), nut butter, and fruit.

As you can see, I ate these for supper with burny-face swiss chard, maple syrup, and peanut butter.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

The Holidays and You: Perfect Together? | Melty Mints

Remember that old New Jersey tourism slogan, “New Jersey and You: Perfect Together”?  Can you be a tourist this holiday, observing but not being of them?  Granted, there’s also the tourist philosophy of, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  My family’s not from Rome (Naples and Sicily, thank you very much).

What I want to get at here is this: the holidays are a source of stress for some people.  Common knowledge, no need to cite the source.  Whether you’re facing in-laws you dislike, coming home as a newly queer-identified individual, dealing with religious tensions, or feeding an obnoxious number of people with disparate dietary preferences, there are numerous ways in which–

OK, enough with not telling us anything we don’t already know.  Here’s what I do to make the week of self-destruction indulgence from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day bearable.  These are strategies I employ in other situations of uncertainty as well.  I’ll tell you my bias up-front: why is it socially acceptable to over-consume food, fuel, and material goods (question the term “goods”) in the name of religious miracles?  I’m all for feasting in celebration, but there’s a line between feasting and frenzy that disappears right quickly, in my experience.  Feasting, as well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means, “To keep holiday, give oneself to pleasure; to enjoy oneself. Obs.”  Enjoyment does not connote overconsumption.  Let’s be honest here.  It doesn’t.

This is my bias.  I’ve read a number of blogs and articles about dealing with the holidays whence I first dismissed the authors as “Haters!” for not condoning pulling out the stops and making outrageously unhealthy dishes and gorging oneself on food and drink (and annoying company).

Recently, at Buddhist meditation, we sang a song in which one line was,

“May all beings be safe.”

Indeed, feeling safe is what I want to feel this holiday season.  And so I wish this for you, too.

‘Couple things on the agenda:
cookie recipe

Every year, my mother and maternal grandmother–and since last year, when I became vegan–and I bake several kinds of cookies each in order to share with the family, neighbours, friends, coworkers, and dorm-mates.  Last year and this year I had tea and cookies parties a few days before break so I could share my passion for baking with my friends.  I veganised most of the traditional recipes last year–pizzelles, melty mints, peanut blossoms, chocolate-dipped shorbread, chocolate-white chocolate chips, gingerbread cookies, et cetera–and this year, I set out to make secretly healthy cookies.  OK, they still contain sugar, but I’m using whole grain flours, less sugar, less oil, as many organic ingredients as I can find, and scooping them small.  In case you’re wondering, I get this drive to healthify from my mother.  We–since I was home during “hell week” before Christmas–used white whole wheat flour to replace half or all of the flour in most recipes last year.  I even used regular whole wheat flour and Sucanat in chocolate cookies, and people ate them up.  So if you’re someone who ate my cookies last year, guess what, I slipped you some whole wheat flour.

‘S how I get my kicks.

This year, though, my eight types of cookies have less sugar, less oil or margarine, and are smaller than the original recipes (save pizzelles…they don’t go smaller).  Certainly, in the recipes I shall post, you may use more sweetener or fat as per your preference.  Here’s a truism Michael Pollan didn’t include (at least, not verbatim) in Food Rules: your taste will match your waist.  Just sayin,’ and I’m also saying that I’m not immune to going on overconsumptive benders during the holidays either.  I do not write from a position of superiority, assumed or otherwise.  “Bless me to understand my own faults.  Bless me to have no desire to examine the faults of others,” as we chant every week at meditation.

So, if you haven’t gotten it by now, I highly recommend meditation during the holidays.  Taking time for yourself, whether you’re doing a sitting practice or doing yoga or going for walks, is very important.  Whoa, wait, Q–objects a reader–the holidays aren’t all about you.  They’re about togetherness and family and–

Q says, “ ‘And?’  Why must we use conjunctions to keep adding obligations and abstracts and things and things?  Why not just ‘is?’  Why not ‘enough?’”

There’s a Dutch proverb I like, and though I don’t know how it goes in the original tongue, the translation I read is, “Enough is great riches.”  That “being grateful” spirit extends from Thanksgiving into Christmas and Solstice and New Year’s (I don’t celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa religiously, so I can’t and won’t speak for that which I don’t know).  “Enough” is generally pretty simple, too.

I like early morning.  Being up early’s enough to make me content.  Fresh peanut butter is also very nice.  Sitting and writing with pen and paper’s most enjoyable.

Think about what’s “enough” for you.  Yes, I’m giving orders.  You’re free to stop reading.  You always have been.

On to the programming: Microlunch.

Microlunch is my term for a container full of a high-protein, portable, non-refrigerated snack.  It’s not a full lunch, but I can survive until supper if it’s all I eat.  I fill a container with dried fruit, crackers or other gluten-free, whole-grain starch, and nuts or nut butter.  If I can bring a piece of fruit and water, tea, and maybe even non-dairy milk (since that’s shelf-stable), then that’s basically lunch.  I like the Mary’s Gone Crackers because they’re crunchy and the work it makes my mouth do gives me a greater sense of satiety.

Cookie Recipe

This is my favourite recipe from since I can remember eating Christmas cookies.  It’s a deep chocolate cookie with—the best part—a pastel mint non-pareil in the center.  Through the years, it’s been more difficult to find non-pareils, and last year I switched to Endangered Chocolate’s mint chocolate bars, cut into pieces.  Non-pareils and other such candies are often coated with confectioner’s glaze, an insect-derived component.  I like to eat the cookie first then melt the chocolate in my mouth.

Melty Mints
Modified from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, Kelly Peloza, p. 88, and an unidentified Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa OR black cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

32 or so pieces vegan mint chocolate for teaspoon-scoop cookies (25 pieces if using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop)

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.  Melt chocolate chips with the milk in microwave.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Whisk the oil and vanilla into the melted chocolate mixture.  Add wet to dry.  (You can refrigerate the dough at this point for up to 24 hours before baking.)  Shape into teaspoon-sized balls (or use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop for monster cookies) and DO NOT FLATTEN on baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press chocolate piece onto each cookie.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then cool completely on a rack.

Wishing you contented, safe holidays—
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Hot Dang! Chocolate Chilli

No pictures, again!

Greetings.  Busy week, but what can I say.  The going-to-class part of the semester is almost over and done with.  Exams, however, will not conclude until the end of January.  Great Scot!  My undergrad years better be the last time I go to a school that has exams after winter break.

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No-Cook Chilli

Speaking of flesh, my mom and I made chilli side-by-side last year, she making carnivorous chili and I making vegan chilli.  Chilli is one of those dishes that I think people can get really up-in-arms about since everyone knows someone who makes a good one.  Or they make a good one themselves.  I offer a chilli recipe that’s been adapted for the dorm.  I found a recipe on the interwebs sometime last April and neglected to bookmark it.  

I have no pictures of the chilli so all food pictures have been replaced with cats.

I’m hereby giving someone else credit for the idea of putting specifically Maya Gold chocolate in chilli, but I’m sorry, I forget the site.  I made this around finals because the concept was to use as much disparate food as I had in my freezer and under my bed before leaving campus.  It’s also a good dish for finals time when school manifests itself as the marvellous inconvenience that it is, and I allow the demands of a student to eat into my eating and cooking time.  

This freezes well.  The salsa label described the contents of the jar as “voluptuous,” and I would agree, the salsa is sensually pleasurable, if you like it when the corners of your lips hurt because you’ve been eating spicy food.  As you peruse the ingredient lists for both versions, you may ask, “Hey, where’s the fat?  It won’t taste good without oil or something…”

Chocolate has fat, hello.  Chocolate is what makes it delicious.

Version 1 is completely dorm-friendly.   Version 2 requires a little more work.

Use-Up Chilli

Version 1:
1 jar 3-bean roasted corn tomato salsa
2 cans beans, rinsed (black beans and kidney)
1 can Italian-style tomatoes, juice and all
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen collard greens (defrosted and cooked)
Chilli powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1.2-ounce bar Maya Gold chocolate, melted (NO LONGER VEGAN)

Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate in a large bowl.  Melt the chocolate and stir it in (it doesn’t have to be completely melted).  Portion it out into containers.  Freeze and reheat.  Serve with rice, cornbread, nutritional yeast, and/or vegan cheeze.

Version 2:

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced or pressed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 16-ounce cilantro-green olive salsa (I had Salpica brand and it’s mild)
1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes and juice (salted or not is your pref)
1/3 of a 3.5-ounce bar of dark, spicy chocolate (50% cacao and up; I used Green & Black’s Organic Maya Gold chocolate, which is 55 percent cacao AND NO LONGER VEGAN)

Brown rice

Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the vinegar once it’s hot.  Once that’s sizzling, add the onions.  Cook until translucent. 

While the onions are bubbling away, combine the salsa, beans, and tomatoes in a large bowl.

Back to the range: add the spices and stir around for a minute until they’re fragrant (thanks for the tip, Ownie Mom!).  Add the garlic and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Break in the chocolate and stir around until melted.  Remove from heat and stir into the salsa-bean mixture.  Add whatever amount you’re going to be eating right that second back to the pan and heat it up.  This is also tasty cold as lunchbox fare.

If you are so lucky as to have a big pot or Dutch oven, then you can sautee the onions and garlic in that until they are translucent.  Then pour in the beans, tomatoes, and salsa.  Cook until heated through, then break in the chocolate and melt.

This is not chilli…it’s rice, banana, and nooch in a stack. And carrots, soymilk, and tea.

Serve with brown rice, cornbread, cheeze…and tissues as your nose will run if you make it nice and spicy. 

I’ve been wearing a bandanna over my hair for the past few days for two reasons.  One: my hair is long; the hairagami only holds so much hair out of my face.  Two: I’m avoiding wearing a hat since my hats rest a little too close to my new left upper conch piercing, and my head is cold since I’m so used to wearing a hat.  Net effect: I look like a pirate, especially with my piercings and tattoo.  I’m the dread pirate Captain Q.

I enjoy wearing an apron while I cook since it’s a visual reminder that I’m focused on cooking and little else when I’m in the kitchen.  I also wear an apron because I make messes, and messes don’t work with all black.  Now with my head-kerchief habit, I’d like to think I’m channelling my Italian great-great-grandmothers.  ‘Cept they didn’t have tattoos and non-earlobe piercings, I’ll bet.
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.